NUST MISIS Scientists Create New-Generation Energy System

A group of NUST MISIS scientists has developed a unique hybrid energy system which couples a wind turbine and a photovoltaic array and which can be used in remote areas, farms and eco cities, while also significantly reducing the cost of energy.

With ever expanding consumption, the issue of replacing traditional energy sources with renewable sources has never been as urgent as it is today. The development of renewable energy is gaining momentum, providing endless alternatives that are greener and cheaper.

Russian researchers have come up with a hybrid energy system capable of transforming two energy sources — photovoltaic and wind — into electric power. The device can work in varying weather conditions, which means that it can be used in almost any region to generate electricity for industrial or household use in remote locations or far from power lines. For example, it can be used on farms, in eco cities or to power street lights in remote communities.

The design consists of a hybrid vertical axis wind turbine with photovoltaic panels in the inner side of the blades. Solar energy can be used to increase the speed of the turbine if it rotates slowly, or transferred to batteries or the grid. The external and internal rotor blades were designed to increase efficiency. A special coating can be applied to the blades to prevent freezing. The fact that the photovoltaic elements are rotating prevents them from overheating and being covered with dust, thereby improving their efficiency and durability, especially when it comes to working with solar energy concentrators.

“Our hybrid system is potentially better than similar devices designed in the US, Europe and China in a number of respects. First, it produces 15 to 20 percent more power compared to similar foreign products by using both solar and wind power. Second, if the system breaks, it is easy to fix due to the lack of complex or large parts (1 to 3 people would be enough for maintenance and repairs). It has to be noted that repairing major energy systems can be challenging, but this does not apply to our device. In addition, this all-season hybrid power system will be substantially less expensive than similar existing products once its structure is slightly improved, and production and marketing are efficient,” said Pyotr Lagov, head of the research group and Associate Professor at the NUST MISIS Semiconductor Electronics and Semiconductor Physics Department.
According to Lagov, in favorable weather conditions (illumination 400-800 W/m2 and a wind speed of 3 to 8 m/s) a unit with a diameter of 1.5 meters (with a total height determined by the height of the mast) and weighing 30 kilograms will have a capacity of 300 to 500 Watts, producing 4 megawatts hour per year. The production cost per unit is not expected to exceed RUB 20,000. This means that if a farmer or the owner of a country house installs several energy systems of this kind, it will produce substantial economies. According to preliminary estimates, the device is expected to last for at least 20 years.

“NUST MISIS is one of the universities that implemented large-scale research projects in energy efficiency and energy-saving at the near universal request from the Ministry of Education & Science, the Ministry of Energy, and both public and private corporations. The university has created a research and educational center devoted to energy efficiency which brings researchers together to work on not only major research, but also education. To do this, NUST MISIS holds refresher courses on a regular basis on energy efficiency at the request of leading companies within the field”, said Alevtina Chernikova, Rector of NUST MISIS.

It took about one year to develop this hybrid system. The researchers have already filed for a patent in Russia and one under the Patent Cooperation Treaty framework. The future of the project fully depends on whether the state or businesses will be interested in it and willing to provide funding. The research group already knows how their invention can be improved. In April 2016, the system was mentioned among the Top 100 best Russian inventions.